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Vos: School Accountability Might Be Dead But Vouchers Live On

GOP Speaker Reverses Course On Tying Two Education Initiatives Together

Shawn Johnson/WPR

The speaker of the state Assembly says fellow Republicans might expand school vouchers statewide regardless of whether they agree to a new school accountability system.

Last month, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said he wouldn’t support statewide school vouchers unless the Legislature also passed a school accountability bill. So, when the rank-and-file lawmakers working on school accountability declared it dead, it called the voucher expansion into question.

But, Vos is now softening his stance, saying Republicans might yet reach a deal on both issues or pass the voucher expansion by itself.

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“Do I think they’re tied together? I really do in a lot of ways. Is it possible that we could do one without the other? It’s possible,” Vos said. “I don’t want to say it’s an absolute, but I certainly think it would be easier if we had a vigorous school accountability system at the same time that we had a vigorous expansion of school choice.”

Gov. Scott Walker put statewide vouchers and school accountability plans in his budget, meaning final decisions on both issues could be coming in the next few weeks.